silwyna (silwyna) wrote in little_details,

Building collapse during earthquake

Hi everyone,

this is my first time posting here. I've been reading lots of your entries for a while and even though so far I haven't been able to help out with a reply, I love that you always have lots of answers.

Here's my question for the day: There is this hotel in my story. It's built upon lots of underground tunnels (that people don't really know about for certain reasons that have to do with the story). An earthquake happens and I want the hotel - with a few people in it - to collapse into those tunnels when the ground just gives in. Does that make sense? I'm not always very clear when I try to explain something in english.

Here's my question: Despite the fact that the above scenario is probably not very likely to happen in real life, for the sake of the story, what magnitude would the earthquake have to have to make something like that happen? I googled quiet a lot about earthquakes and I found many, many great information (including that Richter Scale, the one I knew about, isn't even being used anymore). But no side could tell me what magnitude would make a building collapse like that.

Does anyone of you have an idea?

ETA: Thank you all. Your replies have all been very helpful!
Tags: ~architecture, ~earthquakes

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